By Laura Butler

In order to receive full admission to Eastern, this year’s incoming freshmen were required to graduate from high school with a 2.0 minimum grade point average and score no lower than 18 on the ACT, composite or in any subject. However, students applying for full admission in 2009 may have to step it up to meet some new standards.

The state of Kentucky has passed legislation requiring state-supported colleges and universities to readjust their individual college readiness standards to comply with the recently revised “system-wide standard” established by the Kentucky Council on Post Secondary Education.

This standard, which goes into effect in the Fall of 2009, means a student must have no lower than 19 in math, and no lower than a 21 in reading in order to be admitted. The science and English requirements of 18 have not been modified.

This change doesn’t mean students with lower scores will be refused admission to the university, but it will require more institutional placement testing.

Those students who are deemed “under-prepared” must enroll in a developmental or entry-level course with supplemental support such as labs and tutoring for that subject.

Eastern’s adaptation to this legislation will allow students who receive a score of 18, 19, or 20 in the reading portion of the ACT to enter into a 100 level course, which will most likely be supplemented by tutoring, said Dr. Sue Cain, director of Transition and University Services.

The Council on Academic Affairs has already approved the proposals submitted by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of English and Theatre.

According to Cain, students scoring lower than the required ACT minimums or having lower than a 2.0 GPA may still be admitted to Eastern, but on provisional admission, which will require the student to take developmental courses.

However, the policy will not become official unless both the Faculty Senate and Board of Regents approve it in their September meetings.

Counselors and instructors in high schools and even middle schools are being notified of these changes so they may begin to increase their college preparation standards to meet the new requirements.

“We’re working with Kentucky high schools to promote the college readiness standards to establish a better understanding of the university expectations among teachers, students, and parents,” Cain said.

“These expectations are clearly outlined, and this should help make more students on target for college readiness,” Cain said. “English, math, and reading are essential skills needed in all courses at Eastern.”

While the increase in standards will most likely cause an increase in the number of students deemed not ready to meet college standards, Cain said the end result should produce a higher quality of education for each student.

Cain also said the state of Kentucky is planning to require high school students to complete four years of math in order to earn their diploma, a plan that is in the works for the high school graduating class of 2011.